Johnathan Franklin named Doak Walker Award finalist for amazing season

Jeff Gross

UCLA's outstanding running back is up for the Doak Walker Award, which recognizes the nation's best running back.

Johnathan Franklin has been through a couple head coaches, multiple position coaches, a slew of losses and plenty of reasons to go off the deep end. Instead, he kept working hard and did everything the right way. This season it has paid off. He is on a nine-win, Pac-12 South championship team with three games still left to play this season. He set UCLA's all-time rushing mark and now he had another accolade -- Doak Walker Award finalist.

Franklin is one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, which is awarded to the nation's best running back. Oregon's Kenjon Barner and Wisconsin's Montee Ball will join him at the college football awards show, where the trophy will be awarded to one of the three.

Needless to say, this honor is much deserved for Franklin. He has 1,441 yards rushing on the year, fifth most in the country and his 19 rushing touchdowns are the second most among those in the top 10 in rushing nationally. Franklin's 6.32 yards per rush is also second most among those in the top 10 in rushing so statistically, he stacks up against anyone else in the country.

Franklin has meant so much more to the team than just the outstanding running, too. He is the consumate leader, helping UCLA make the transition to the new coaching staff and earning every bit of his nickname "The Mayor". He does a little bit of everything, from running, to leading to blocking and even turning himself into a threat out of the backfield. Thankfully, his tremendous season has been recognized.

The awards keep piling up for Jetski. And every single one of them is so very deserved. Congrats to one of the greatest Bruins ever.

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